Western View: Critical Meeting Wednesday – You’re Invited

Taylor Hillman Western View

Len Wilcox discusses tomorrow’s Water Board meeting, which could decide whether or not Delta water will come south.

There’s a very important Water Board meeting this Wednesday, and ag leaders say farmers need to be there so our voices are heard by the people who control our water. The State Water Resources Control Board needs to hear from us because they have closed the valve on a water delivery that could have had a big impact in the upcoming growing season. If you want to catch a bus ride up to the meeting Wednesday, grab a pencil because in a minute I’ll tell you the phone number to call for more information.

Here’s the story. Despite the fact that five state and federal agencies agreed to allow it, one state employee was in a position to stop a plan that would have pumped more Delta water southward, during these months when the pumping would not threaten endangered species or risk to other water priorities. Its a small window of time that this can happen – just February and March. One state worker put the brakes on this plan, and his decision, which flies in the face of five other government agencies, has already cost us two weeks’ worth of Delta water.

That single state employee is Thomas Howard, the Executive Director of the State Water Resources Control Board. He’s a UC Berkeley and Davis trained scientist who has been with the Board for 26 years, rising to Deputy Director in 2000 and Executive Director in 2010.

The Board has a meeting scheduled for 9:00 Wednesday morning, and the Nisei farmer’s league and other groups are sponsoring buses to drive citizens to the meeting. The meeting is important because the Board is considering whether or not to pump ANY water from the Delta this year, not just this late winter allocation. These people need to hear from us, and need to understand that more than the welfare of fish is at stake during these drought-stricken times.

For more information call the Nisei Farmers League in Fresno at 559-251-8468.

I’m Len Wilcox and that’s the Western View from AgNet West.